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Everything posted by ChandlerMom

  1. It sounds like WTM may resonate with you, but OM may resonate better with ds. My oldest thrives on WTM, my middle (1st grade) is OM, and my 3yo is TBD. :lol: Even my oldest (3rd grade) says she wishes she'd learned the OM style. Since you're starting out and he's "behind" I would just focus on the basics and not tinker with the gentle OM content. The most important thing at this point is for ds to enjoy learning and to feel good about it. The rest will come. Don't panic. If he did NOTHING academic until he was 7yo he'd STILL be caught up by 8 or 9. I didn't really accept that with my 1st, but with my second the less I "do" the more she learns. I think OM might be a good match for you because it naturally moves from gentle Waldorfy to caught up classical-y transitioning around 3rd/4th grade. At that point, you could either add more WTM content or transition to a more classical education. You get to the same destination by 4th grade following a completely different path. If you really want to add SOTW, maybe get the CDs from the library and listen to it. I wouldn't even add that until ds is reading well, just read good books to/with him. The trick with OM is not to add so much that you thwart the program (I do add math, gentle latin for fun, and MCT for grammar, but only because both girls now read very well). Best wishes and welcome!
  2. There is a fundamental difference there: K12 is mastery-based -- you move on when you get it and only when you get it. This means you can test thru units very quickly (my K'r did 2-3 grades in K in math and LA just by assessing through) and this makes it very adaptable to the gifted child. It also means that if your child struggles with a concept they can't just "take the bad grade and move on" -- you don't move on until you master it. Connections takes the more traditional ps approach, with grades and moving on. IMO the ps approach is more about managing the herd than giving each child the best education. *To me* mastery IS accountability. But you need to figure out what you believe. ;)
  3. That you feel this way just means that YOU are learning and growing. If you would "do everything the same"...well, that would mean you'd have learned nothing as a parent and that would be pretty sad. Everything you have learned so far is benefiting your kids now. Focus on how what you have learned makes you a better parent to the kids you have now and *if* down the road you have more kids, know that yes, you will be a better parent because of your experience and that is a GOOD thing. Even with 1,000 lifetimes of parenting, you'd never be perfect, so just continue to strive to do your best. Instead of feeling guilty because you didn't start your parenting journey knowing all the answers, feel good that the fact you can acknowledge past mistakes means you are putting your current kids ahead of your ego (not all parents do), are humble enough to know you are not perfect and are willing to learn.
  4. Well, I can't tell you what's best for you, but I started OM recently for my 2nd dd and it's been great for ALL my kids -- they love the circle time and crafts. I would think the gentler approach (compared to classical) would be good for your dd given her hand issue. I like that OM uses Waldorf approach in the early years and transitions to a more rigorous approach around 3rd to 4th grade, when most kids are ready. It is also easy to add in depth for an advanced student without losing the Waldorf vibe, so I find there is actually less "fluff" than most classical curricula. I love the story/book selection in OM. Sounds like a good price, and you should be able to resell it for that down the line. SO, how is that for a sales pitch? :lol:
  5. Depends if you already have an iPad or not. :lol: I agree with less is more -- build up slowly as you find your style and what works. If you haven't' already, research the different styles/philosophies -- my first dd is fine with classical but my 2nd is Waldorfy. I just accept that and adjust. :D Back to the iPad -- best hs tool we've got. My 3yo has learned to make nice letters and numbers on it WITHOUT a ton if scratch paper laying everywhere. And the girls think MM (math) is FUN if it is on the iPad. Same worksheets are a chore if I print them out. That makes the iPad Priceless. :p Pick you style, list your subjects by priority, then pick your curric for each. Keep track of your 2nd choices and what you discarded (and why -- you'll get snow-blind after a while). That'll give you a "budget". :lol:
  6. Actually, you can even use the camera built in to the iPad to snap a pic of the page and use it. :D Lots of stuff is just more interesting and convenient to use on an iPad electronically. I scan lessons so I can carry them on my iPad and flip thru them while we cuddle on the couch instead of trying to balance a bulky book on my lap. I don't consider I'm violating any copyright since I paid for the CONTENT not the PAPER. I wouldn't have a problem reselling as long as I don't continue to use (or proliferate) the electronic versions I made "for my personal use". Workbooks can be tricky because they trigger the "consumable" aspect of the fair use principle, but then I don't know if it is any more moral to use a workbook without marking in it (either by using page protectors, writing on a separate paper, or solving orally) and reselling. Actually, if you are scanning for your personal use (to replace the use of the paper version) I don't see how you could be violating fair use of the copyrighted material. For fun (note: this is about distributing, and in the last section the user has a legal copy, so I think the balance would fall towards fair use if you scan a workbook for your own use): http://teaching.colostate.edu/guides/copyright/ncstatefairuseworksheet.pdf
  7. I don't think she has that kind of money, at least for the private schools in her area which are generally very "rich kid" schools, and not for the duration of high school. :( The really positive private schools would be an hour drive. For half a semester, I don't know if she'd be there long enough to earn any "credits" -- I really don't know how that part works. Any experience with distance learning programs? I was thinking even taking 1-2 courses for a semester thru something like Oak Meadow (meaning repeating half a semester, but her grades were tanking anyways, so repeating and doing well is better than struggling thru and failing) starting now and running thru summer to get her credits? Then she could start 10th grade at a different school (there's a ps charter close to home with smaller classes and close friends from church (including upperclassmen) to look out for her). Thoughts?
  8. Hi all, I hs (younger kiddos) but my friend's dd has been going thru a lot in ps since 8th grade (bullying). She's in 9th grade now and things are really bad. Spring break is coming up and she really doesn't want to go back after break. The ps won't let her change schools or such because it's mid-semester. After spring break, there's still 9.5 weeks left in their school year, so that's just too much to try to "get thru". I don't know if my friend wants to hs long-term or just short term. She is a working single parent, so she is really looking at online programs or materials. She might want to try to find a B&M program for next year. My question is, has anyone pulled their child mid-2nd term from 9th grade? Any advice? Suggestions? Options? Right now they are just trying to figure out their options. She's a great mom and her dd is a great kid. It hurts that this is happening to them. They live in WA, if that makes a difference. I wish they lived closer. :(
  9. I would choose the science that best serves for 3rd grader and let your 1st grader tag-along. IMO it is easier to take something a bit hard and reduce the requirements for one child than try to add meat to a lower level one (for example, do the lesson with both but only have the older write up the report). Some programs are designed for a range of ages. You might consider unit studies, or multi-age programs like BFSU or RSO. I mention RSO because I've found it works well with my 3rd and 1st graders working together and I've found it very straightforward (and hence gets done). They are doing Life Sciences right now as well as an intellego unit study on the solar system (one of their interests).
  10. Google on extending life of toner cartridge (tricks like shaking it and covering detector to avoid premature shutdown, but don't go nuts with it) and the knock-off toner makers really are just fine (check reviews) and cost 1/2 to 1/3 as much. They're all made in China anyways. :tongue_smilie: There's no reason a piece of plastic filled with ink dust should cost $40-50 and the $14-20 ones work just as well.
  11. I'm lost why this "diabetes educator" has any power to "make your life a living hell" and I agree the FIRST thing I would do would just be to tell her that you are only there to discuss her disease and that if she cannot limit herself to that topic could she please recommend a different practitioner? I don't understand the responses suggesting you need to contact HSLDA (huh?) or a lawyer for that matter. Why go all nuclear over this? Do what you would teach your child to do: when you have a problem with an individual, talk to them first. If that doesn't work THEN talk to their boss or find a different professional. You might even ask her Dr if she still needs to see a diabetes educator. Deep breaths and a cup of hot tea. You cannot control their person's beliefs, so why worry about it? You CAN expect her to act professionally and to respect your wishes to NOT discuss homeschooling -- but how is she going to know if you haven't told her it bothers you? Sounds like the novelty of her being home schooled has blinded her to her faux pas. If you just cannot manage to be civil with her, ask to be referred to a new diabetes educator. FWIW, my mom is an RN and worked as a diabetes educator, but her job was to help educate patients to better manage their disease, NOT to interrogate them. ;)
  12. If ongoing cost is an issue for you, I'd price that out first. I like the look of spiral-bound or pro click, but it was a lot more per binding than the comb and I was able to get a heavy-duty quality binding machine for less as well. For example, a quick look at an online binding supplier, if you bought 100 1/2" coils/spines: $8.50 for comb $15 for spiral $60 for proclick I just didn't' want to spend almost a dollar per spine to use proClick. I was able to buy a lifetime supply of comb bindings in a rainbow of colors and sizes (from 1/4" to 1.5") plus clear cover sheets for about $40. I couldn't even get one box of proClick bindings for that. YMMV, and everyone has their own preferences and priorities. I just HATE high recurring costs, so that was a big deal in my decision. If laying flat was important, I'd go spiral (though I find those tougher on the knuckles of a lefty). But for someone else, the proClick is worth it. ;) ETA: since it's so cheap, I comb bind everything -- even making a week's worth of scratch/drawing paper into little books so I don't have so much loose paper everywhere. :lol:
  13. I just wanted to say that I agree that the most important thing is encouraging a positive approach to problem solving, and hands-on experience may not be absolutely necessary, but it definitely gives kids an advantage in STEM education (and even knowing if they are interested in STEM as a career)! Growing up, my older brother was the one to always help my dad with cars and mechanical things, even though I was clearly headed into engineering (like my dad). No matter how much I bugged them to let me help, I was sent away. Then I got into college only to discover that many of the professors *assumed* anyone interested in Engr had been rebuilding car engines and the like and living in a machine shop (my high school didn't even have one). If there was a tough concept to explain, they'd use some part of a car as the example and all the guys would be nodding their heads like, "oh, NOW I get it!" and I was left clueless. Out of self preservation I cornered a few of the guys in my class and traded lunch for diagrams of how a clutch works, and what a catalytic converter was. Mind you, this was before the internet. :D I spent my first year of dynamics feeling like I was playing catch-up. I survived, but I definitely want to expose my kids to a wide range of basic mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Whether they go into STEM fields or not, at least they will know what they are. :)
  14. I'm not in Mesa proper, but I think most of those are waived if you authorize a credit check (give them your SSN, which we won't do). The city only provides water/waste/garbage, but the electricity/gas is private companies (SRP or APS cover different parts of the Valley -- SRP is generally cheaper). Deposits for those are at the companies discretion (meaning SSN or deposit required). BTW, there's a new Old Spaghetti Factory at the Chandler Fashion Mall. Mesa can be spotty -- nice neighborhoods and some really bad ones, so definitely drive around the areas just beyond the homes you consider. Chandler/Gilbert are more homogeneously shades of "nice". :lol: Tempe is more urban/university vibe (imo). But go with the commute foremost!
  15. Thank you for the suggestions. Yes, I know that there is so much more history than she can ever learn -- it's convincing her that can be tough (has to do with her perfectionist tendencies rather than really a "know-it-all" attitude). I had a great class in college that only covered 70 years of Parisian history. :lol: Maybe I need to use that approach -- yes, make sure she knows her basic timeline and then delve deeply into specific times so she knows HOW to explore the nuances and relationships. Thanks again! It's tough as a science-type to abandon the WTM history cycles model.
  16. Wright on Time is a series, each set in a different state, about a traveling homeschooling family. First book is AZ (4 out so far). DD liked them, step up from MTH, about 100pp and the Kindle version is $3. http://www.amazon.com/Wright-Time-Book-1-Arizona/dp/0982482906/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332995612&sr=8-1
  17. You can't really compare rates between silent and oral -- oral will always be slower. When adults read, we read "ahead" and scan whole paragraphs so our brain can start decoding harder words before we reach them and we can intonate the story properly (dramatic reading on the first read, LOL). Oral reading requires we do a whole lot of multitasking. ;) FWIW, googling I found a website reporting goal rates for both silent and oral reading by grade: http://www.readinghorizons.com/blog/post/2010/07/19/Optimal-Silent-and-Oral-Reading-Rates.aspx According to that, 2nd grade oral would be 89 wpm and silent 115. Also note that oral reading maxes out (unless you are an auctioneer, I guess). My dd did DIBELS for K-2 and I noticed her fluency rate at the end of 1st grade was exactly the same as at the beginning of 2nd (170 wpm -- WELL above average). I thought that was odd, so I had her read a fluency passage silently. She read it with 100% comprehension at 450 wpm (that's almost into speed reading rates for adults). She's obviously WAY outside the "normal" range, and I'm not mentioning this to "brag on" my dd, but just to show how different the oral and silent rates can be. If I hadn't done the silent test I wouldn't have realized how fast she's reading (and that she's obviously not converting the text to "hear it" in her head, which means she doesn't stumble on words she can't pronounce, gets the meaning fine from context, but doesn't "learn" the word) nor understood why she finds reading out loud so frustratingly slow (though I still make her do it, especially to learn those tough vocab words she'd fly by. :lol:). Understanding that reading fluency is NOT something that develops uniformly, I think that looking at both oral and silent reading rates (with comprehension) can provide a nice snapshot, but each carries different information, none of which you can sweat too much. :D
  18. Works great. Kids think it's fun, not work if it's on an iPad. :lol: I use neu.annotate. There is a free version and recently I got the paid version on sale for $2.99 (can create PDFs and more options for transferring back and forth twix computer). In free version you can put a doc on the iPad from within iTunes and e-mail the doc to yourself to get it "back off". No stylus. They write with their finger. pinch-zoom, so can make any size and do calculations in the margins. Very easy for my 6yo to manage. Pages edited show up red (their page number in the PDF) and it just stays on the last page done. Can tag different PDFs (so have tags for each kid so they can just view their stuff). Easy Peasy.
  19. My 8yo dd has a phenomenal memory and does NOT like repeating things. She balks at discussing the Egyptians AGAIN (after all, we did that 3+ years ago) nor phoenicians, etc. And she REMEMBERS most of it in great *detail*. She's also a naturally abstract thinker, so the 3-levels of classical development don't apply as well (she's already drawn lots of connections on her own between society, gov't, art, and philosophy at different historical times, for example). I'm planning on reviewing the skeleton of history (mainly for dd#2 who hasn't been thru the cycle yet) and then study times and themes instead of cycles, so I don't repeat myself. Anyone else been thru this? How did you cobble history without being repetitive?
  20. :iagree: PLUS they do a lot of fear mongering to scare hs'rs. Before you join, make sure you understand their history, including in-fighting and their (non-hs related) agenda, to make sure you can swallow it.
  21. Using currently with my 3rd kid and LOVE it. My older 2 are now strong readers thanks to 100EL and LOVE reading (my 2nd loved the stories so much that I scanned them and printed her own little book of the last 25 stories (after the typeset changes to regular) and a year later she still LOVES to read them. I love that it teaches blending from day #1 (instead of most programs that spend YEARS trying to teach it after-the-fact), and that by the end they're reading at a sold 2nd grade level 200+ word stories on full pages (not a sentence per page). I think that really sets them up to transfer to chapter books and they have no fear of pages filled with words. :D My 3 suggestions are: 1) if your child struggles, back up 5-10 lessons and try again (just reading the words and stories, not doing all the exercises). There seems to be a jump in difficulty around lesson 25 and 75 and both my girls needed to backtrack for a couple weeks. Don't try to PUSH forward -- the lessons should be easy for them. 2) Don't feel *too* bound by the script. Yes, read the scripted part beforehand to be familiar with it, but adapt to your child. We did handwriting separately and skipped some of the exercises as I saw fit (esp after the first couple weeks). I NEVER had my child read the story more than once, and I NEVER pushed reading "silently" first -- IMO they'll do this when they are ready. 3) You don't have to do a lesson per day. If they are getting overloaded, do the words one day and the story the next, or do it in 2 parts during the day.
  22. I still remember disassembling an old 8-track cassette with my dad (Yeah, I'm that old). :D I think anything, no matter how simple, can be a good learning opportunity. It doesn't have to be big, expensive, or complex. I learned a lot from that 8-track (seeing how it can continuously loop), and then a reg cassette tape. As an adult, my boss and I played with seeing how many scratches an (old) CD can have before the player barfs, making it unbalanced by sticking things onto the top side. :lol: Even a humble toilet paper roll holder is quite a work of engineering. IMO, it's really about learning to look at things in a new way and think about how they work, WHY they are done that way, the order of assembly... Then when they ask "how does that work" you're ready to pull out the screwdriver and say, "hmm, let's find out!" ;) PS: glad to see I'm not the only one who can't stick with just ONE curric! :lol:
  23. Yep. I have no trouble focussing on STEM, but needed something to help keep me honest with the OTHER stuff (esp for my 6yo 'flower child' dd), so we started OM a month ago. Even my Spock-child LOVES circle time, knitting and playing the recorder. :lol: She was the one when I told them, "next week we will add a new curriculum I think you'll really like," she asked excitedly, "Does it have more science?" Um...not exactly. :lol:
  24. Curious which math/science curric you are using, and do you use more than one? We seem to do several different programs concurrently. :D We are using everything from Waldorf-inspired (OM) math/science to AoPS. I like weaving the different bits together. Maths: OM Zaccaro's books (ECM, CM, and RWA) Sadlier-Oxford AoPS pre-Algebra (tabled right now) Sciences: OM (nature) RSO Life science Intellego unit studies BFSU How about you? [And thanks for the book recommendation!]
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